- Student type: Domestic
- Degree type: PhD
- Year commenced: 2019
- Degree(s): Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy
Dr Marina Skiba completed her PhD in 2019 with the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine and now works as a Research Manager at Monash University.
How has your Monash degree helped you succeed in your career? How have you been able to apply your skills in your current position?
I had been a staff member at Monash University in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (SPHPM) for over 20 years when an opportunity to complete a PhD, within the school, presented itself.
My PhD was a questionnaire-based study that recruited a large community based sample of Australian women to explore women’s health issues. This was very different to the interventional clinical trials focusing on pharmacological and cardiovascular research that I had been involved in up to that point.
As my PhD drew to a close, I had the opportunity to apply for the role of Research Manager for SPHPM. The skills I learnt during my PhD along with the skills I developed while working in clinical trials gave me the breadth of experience that made me well placed for the role of Research Manager in a large School running over 500 research projects including observational studies, registries and clinical trials.
What do you most enjoy about your current job?
The diversity of the research being undertaken by SPHPM means that the issues, challenges and problems that researchers face can be unique and varied. So, for me, this means there is always something new around the corner, which keeps life interesting.
What has been your biggest challenge, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge has probably been trying to work out how to do it all … be a wife and a mother while holding down a job and growing a career. I learnt that ‘all’ is subjective, sleep is overrated (at least, that’s what I told myself) and sometimes ‘some’ is enough. My career would be in a very different place if I didn’t have a family but I wouldn’t have missed being there for my kids for anything a job could have offered. They are now amazing adults embarking on their own careers and don’t seem to have been scarred by my working, part time, throughout their childhood. My career inched forwards in those years but has always been there to keep me grounded and sane. Now that my husband is starting to look forward to retirement, I’m just stretching my wings and focusing more on work, and less on who needs their sports uniform on which day of the week.
What advice would you give current PhD graduates?
The most valuable piece of professional advice I received came from my father when I was a teenager. He told me never to get promoted out of what you love doing. That advice has stood me in good stead. I have been working for many years and there is enormous value in enjoying what you do.